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AARP Expert

10 Tips on the Financial Matters of Caregiving - TIP #1: How to Get Paid to Care for Loved Ones

As AARP's family and caregiving expert, one of the most common questions I'm asked is, "How can I get paid to care for my (family member, friend etc.)?" It's a common question because it's a common problem. Many of us struggle to keep working while caring for loved ones, and if we quit our paid jobs then our finances are highly affected. We want to care for our loved ones, but we also need an income. 


If you'd like to get paid to care for loved ones, there are a few options that may fit your situation. I'll be honest - unfortunately, not everyone who needs to get paid to provide care will fit into these categories. But for some of you, these options may be helpful. 


  1. If your loved ones are eligible for and enrolled in Medicaid, you may be able to get paid to provide care for them. Eligibility varies from state to state, so be sure to contact your state Medicaid office to find out if your loved one and you are eligible. 
  2. If your loved ones are veterans, Veterans Affairs has some programs that pay family members to provide care, or provide veterans with financial benefits they can use for their care as they see fit. Contact the VA Caregiver Support Program or call its hotline at 855-260-3274.
  3. If your loved ones have long term care insurance, they may be able to use those funds to pay for caregivers. Some policies do not stipulate who can be paid to be caregivers, while others will not allow family members to be paid. Be sure to contact the insurance company who sold your loved ones their policies to find out about the specifics. 
  4. If your loved ones have the resources to do so, they can always pay you directly from their own private funds. It's important to note that these funds would be considered income and taxes must be paid on them. It's a good idea to consult with an accountant and/or an elderlaw attorney about setting up an agreement and a method for paying taxes etc. You can also use a payroll service to handle pay and taxes. 

You can find out more details about these options in this article on the AARP website: "Can I Get Paid to be a Caregiver for a Family Member?"


Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

Author, Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving

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